Items about Frank Zappa and the California Jam festivals, a suddenly timely local theater production and a highly unfortunate vote make up Sunday’s column.
There was such interest in my columns on a recent Baez biography and on a concert she gave at her former high school in Redlands, I decided to devote Friday’s column to her Redlands years to coincide with her birthday Saturday. She lived in the city for five years in her childhood and taught herself to sing during that period by experimenting in the shower.
Don Branker, the emcee and producer of the two California Jam rock festivals in Ontario, died earlier this month. (I happened to see his paid obituary in the LA Times, one reason a print subscription comes in handy.) I also pay tribute to Bob Smith, a Pomona artist and history buff and friend of yours truly, and present two other short items, all in Wednesday’s column.
A new documentary, “Zappa,” explores the life and career of the musician and activist, and his Inland Valley years are not excluded (although it helps if you know what to look for). I draw some fresh tidbits from the movie and write about them in Wednesday’s column, along with a related curio: a book about odds by Zappa’s father.
I gather together some odds and ends for a post-Thanksgiving column (written Monday, revised on Wednesday), mostly about Joan Baez, but with a couple of other topics too. I won’t call it a feast, but dig in anyway.
Would you like to read a column about singer Joan Baez? If so, let me recommend mine.
While I won’t try to do the impossible and track every time Van Halen performed in the 909, I can’t resist a story about them playing a dance at Claremont High School. A school dance! Also: three more items, including one contributed by my mom, all in my Friday column.
Before they were famous, Van Halen played multiple times in Pomona at Walter Mitty’s and The Connection and in San Bernardino at Eros & Bogart. They might perform for hours, with five sets per night of 45 minutes each. I write about those days in my Friday column.
I had a memorable, if awkward, interview in April with Norma Tanega for a column. She died Dec. 29, so I wrote another one about this true original.
I write in Sunday’s column about the Treasury of Claremont Music, a website launched by Claremont Heritage to honor local musicians, and also about a tour Sunday of the Phillips Mansion in Pomona. (Apologies for the late notice; tours are now quarterly, so you’ll get more chances.)